Schalttag – Schaltjahr – Schaltsekunde?

The 29th of Februar is a Leap Day or Schalttag – a day is which added to the calendar every four years to make up for the difference between the length of a normal year and the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Thus the year 2008 is a Leap Year or Schaltjahr.

There are also Leap Seconds – Schaltsekunden – which compensate for the small difference that only modern atomic clocks can detect.

But did you know, that in some countries there used to be a 30th of February?

To find out where and to hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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